- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 20 Feb 2020
A 'foreign' file is one that is unrecognised by the application, and so will be unable to be displayed or, if it can be opened, may be displayed improperly due to the incorrect translation of data.
Many software developers create native file formats which can initially only be used by their own software. But if the software or application then becomes popular enough, other developers may release software that mimics or extends its functionality, they may also use this file format, and so it can become standard in that particular field of use.
Files can often be saved in formats other than their native formats. For example, the data in a Microsoft Word document file is customised and optimised for be read only in Microsoft Word, and have a .doc or .docx file extension. However, files can also be saved in formats such as .txt, .pdf, and .rtf.
In other cases, applications may be able to open files but not save them in the same format, due to licensing issues or perhaps due to the feature not yet being implemented in the application’s programming.
Similarly, CAD and 3D modeling software used by architects and designers can save and read files from other similar software or in standard file formats. For example, the native file format for AutoCAD is .dwg, but files can also be produced in an interchange file format DXF.
Proprietary file formats are those that are only readable by their own, and other permitted, software. The use of proprietary formats may hamper interoperability if project team members are using different types of software.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
The initiative to enhance the environment continues.
Could underused community spaces offer an alternative to working from home?
Keeping workers and workplaces safe in the United States.
A history lesson in geographic information systems.
A low tech, easy to use method of extinguishing small fires.
How can these valued spaces be reused?
Partnership avoids the need for listed building consent.
Connecting building design from inception to completion to operations.
Gregor Harvie predicts interoperability will be construction’s Uber moment.
Expert commentary and insight.
Guidance offered for stained glass window maintenance.
Define need before determining viability.